Race to the Sky dedicated to Beckstrom, starts Saturday


February 7, 2019

The Race to the Sky will celebrate its 34th year starting Feb. 8. The 300 and 100 mile racers are lining up to see how their teams stack up with the rest of the dog mushers at the start of the race Saturday, Feb. 9 at High Country Snack Foods near Lincoln.

This year’s Race to the Sky is dedicated to Jack Beckstrom for his lifetime commitment to the sport of mushing and bringing distance mushing to Montana. He was an original organizer of the race in 1986 and has been part of every single race until his death last year. He competed in the 500 and 350 mile races numerous times, was a race marshal for several years and was the chairman of the board and a treasurer for Montana Sled Dog, Inc., the parent nonprofit that organizes Race to the Sky, for more than 30 years.

There will be several awards named for Beckstrom including the Jack Beckstrom Sportsmanship Award and the Jack Beckstrom Best Cared for Award.

The public is invited to join mushers for the 300-mile race Friday, Feb. 8 for the vet check at Hi-Country Snack Foods near Lincoln from 1-3 p.m. The Pre-race Banquet will be at the Lincoln Community Hall from 6-8 p.m. Chef Barbie will be making enchiladas three ways, beans, salad and dessert. It is free and the public is invited to meet the mushers and learn about the race.


The teams competing in the 300 mile race will be coming through Seeley Lake starting Sunday morning through Monday. Past Seeley Lake resident Cindy Gallea, now from Wkyoff, Minn., is among the six mushers in the 300-mile race.

The 100-mile race will end in Seeley Lake near the Seeley Lake Nordic Trails starting early Sunday morning. Roy Etnire from Seeley Lake is among the 13 teams in the 100 mile event. The awards ceremony for the 100-mile race is scheduled for 1 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 10 at the Seeley Lake Community Hall.

Nicole Grangroth of Menahga, Minn. is the only 100 mile junior racer this year. To date, there are three teams coming from Minnesota, two teams from Washington, one team from Oregon, Utah and Idaho and the rest are from Montana.

Visit Race to the Sky’s website http://www.racetothesky.org for race updates. GPS units will once again be used on all teams so you can see exactly where they are on the loops this year.

The public is invited to come to all the events. Race organizers ask the public to keep their pets either in a vehicle or leave them at home while visiting with the mushers and their teams.


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